Mama Told Me There’d Be Days Like These

The Next Family

By Shannon Ralph

bad days

There are days when you think you are actually doing pretty well at this parenting gig. Days when your children seem almost content.Almost happy. Days when you are in the zone—the parenting zone. You all know what I mean, right? Days when you look at your children and you think maybe—just maybe—their financial futures will not be riddled with the pock marks of extensive therapy debt. Days when you see nothing in their future but promise and success and roaring accolades.  Days when their little souls seem at peace and their little psyches intact. All because you are one fucking badass mother.

Then there are days like today.
Days when you forget to dress your children in green because, as a forty-one-year old mother of three who barely remembers to pee most days, you are incapable of remembering a holiday that is synonymous with drunken abandon.  You have no time for green beer. Days when you pick up your eleven-year-old son from school grasping his bicep and wincing in pain. Days when he declares today the worst day. Ever. In the history of days. Days when he says to you, “There is apparently some thing in middle school where people are allowed to punch you if you don’t wear green. Mom, why didn’t you tell me to wear green?” You don’t know how to respond, so you only say, “I’m sorry, son.” Because “I forgot to dress you in green because, frankly, I simply do not have even an infinitesimal bit of available space left in my brain at the moment because I am too busy trying to figure out how we are going to pay for the $7,000 in dental work you are getting next week” seems a bit too harsh.

 

There are days when your youngest son gets a new video game he ordered in the mail. A video game for a game system you do not own. A Nintendo GameCube video game that he was dying to have and insisted on spending his $30 on despite your warnings that there was no way a GameCube game would play on his Nintendo Wii system no matter what the idiot hacker on YouTube said. His little heart leaps for joy as he tears open the manila packaging. And when it does not play in his Wii system—just as mommy had warned him—he falls into a deep, deep depression. He assumes the fetal position on the couch and refuses to speak for an hour or so until he falls asleep. When you wake him for dinner, he refuses to eat. When you put him in the tub for bath time, he once again assumes the fetal position—under water this time—taking on the appearance of a disturbingly large, scrawny fetus. Now he is in bed. Moaning. That his eye hurts. And his leg hurts. And his penis hurts. You discover, to your utter disappointment that the apple does not fall far from the tree. He is an emotional hypochondriac in much the same way his momma is an emotional eater.

 

There are days when you say the unthinkable to your daughter. Days when (after enduring a visit from your homeowner’s insurance adjustor, and a couple of long calls with your banker, and a pamphlet in the mail about your 20th—TWENTIETH!!—college reunion) you look your beautiful, happy, enthusiastic daughter in the eye at ten minutes to eight o’clock and you actually say, “Please, Sophie. Please, for the love of GOD, find something to do for the next ten minutes that does not involve being right in my face.” There are days when your daughter calls you mean. And slams her door. And refuses to kiss you goodnight. And flings her skinny little body on her bed with the force of F5 tornadic winds.  There are days when you know you are a shitty parent. You just know it in your gut the same way you know that you need to put down the fucking Oreos and eat something green.

 

But now that everyone in the house is mad at you—with the exception of the dog, but she’s not very bright—you are going to bed and putting this horrible day to rest.

 

Tomorrow is a new day.

You can read more by Shannon Ralph on her blog

Photo Credit: Rob from Flickr images

The post Mama Told Me There’d Be Days Like These appeared first on The Next Family.

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